Navigation was the most important thing about captaining a ship, and the tools used to make these journeys were vital to the discovery of the world, its history, and every single ship voyage in history.
Astrolabe from the Tortugas: Museum visitors will be able to view a genuine astrolabe, one of only 105 known to still be in existence today. Astrolabes were used in the 16th and 17th centuries to help sailors navigate. Of the three astrolabes retrieved from the Tortugas shipwreck, one is displayed in the Smithsonian Museum, one was sold at auction for an astonishing $780,000, and one is right here in Branson, MO at the Shipwrecked Treasure Museum.
Coal from the SS Republic: Steamships were fueled by burning coal. The central display in our Paddlewheel Room features original coal pieces from the SS Republic as well as an original sight glass from the ship’s boiler room.
Full-scale Replica of the SS Republic Paddlewheel: The SS Republic was a dual-paddlewheel ship, which means that the two paddlewheels on each side of the ship propelled it through the water. A ceiling-mounted full-scale replica of one of these paddlewheels offers visitors insight into the structure of the ship and how it moved along ocean waters. If stood on end, the paddlewheel would be three stories tall! The SS Republic’s paddlewheels are especially important because they helped the Odyssey Marine Exploration team to identify the wreckage they found.